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Vaccinations seem like such a given in the world of preventative pet care that it’s easy to schedule them without actually understanding what they are and why they matter so much. Here are some common frequently asked questions about the subject at our Gary IN vet clinic, Glen Park Animal Hospital.
Vaccines are substances derived from the same germs they're designed to protect against. The inert version of the disease organism cannot cause disease in your pet, but it still carries the telltale "markers" that identify it as a potential threat to the immune system. The immune responds by producing antibodies that safeguard your pet against the actual disease.
Our Gary IN veterinarian, Dr. Larson, urges owners to schedule vaccinations for animals as young as 5 to 6 weeks of age. Puppies and kittens typically receive several rounds of vaccinations before reaching adulthood. Over the course of your pet's life, we will also administer updates or "booster shots" as needed to renew the protection provided by individual vaccines. We will advise you as to when you need to schedule booster shots for your pet.
The immune systems of puppies and kittens have had no opportunity to manufacture the necessary antibodies for protection against some of the deadliest, most common disease agents. Baby animals receive some protection through their mother's milk, but by the time they are weaned, they need to be producing their own -- with the aid of vaccinations.
The term "core" refers to those critical vaccinations that every Gary, Merrillville and Hammond dog or cat should receive. For cats, they include vaccinations against panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis, rabies and calicivirus. Dogs should be vaccinated against canine distemper, rabies, parvovirus and canine hepatitis.
In addition to core vaccinations, some pets can benefit from non-core of elective vaccinations that address disease threats specific to their location or lifestyle. For example, pets who enter boarding facilities should be vaccinated against highly contagious diseases such as feline leukemia and Bordetella. An outdoor pet might also benefit from vaccinations against tick-borne diseases. Our veterinarian can point out any elective vaccinations your pet might need.
The great majority of pets are not at any risk whatsoever from vaccinations, apart from mild side effects such as soreness at the injection site or elevated temperature. If you pet experiences an allergic reaction, our Gary IN vet can provide prompt care. Letting your pet go un-vaccinated is far more hazardous to his health!
Our veterinarian can answer all your questions about pet vaccinations and there's no better time for it than while you're having your Hammond, Merrillville or Gary IN pet vaccinated. Call 219-915-0057 today!
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I have been bringing all of my dogs to Glen Park Animal Hospital for the past 20 years and have found their service to be excellent! I am a nurse and have found that the care, competency and compassion that the entire staff gives to the animals is as good as (and in some instances even better than) the "human doctors/hospitals"!! Dr. Larson explains everything and does good follow-up with my "fur-babies". You can tell that the entire staff loves their job!
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